Social media: it’s not just for kids

So everyone is talking about social media, right?

 

“I just got my first order through Facebook”.  “I have thousands of followers on Twitter”.  “I’ve just come back from this social media workshop and found out about this

new social network.  It’s going to be the Next Big Thing!”

 

But you don’t need to worry about Social Media do you?  You have a traditional business and your customers have been coming to you for years.  You can just leave this stuff for the kids.  You don’t need to worry about Social Media, do you?

 

Think again!  As a means of communication Social Media has grown more rapidly than radio, television or the internet.  But it’s not just its prevalence that makes it important – social media has changed the way that we interact with one another.  More importantly, it has changed the way that consumers interact with brands.  That means you!

 

Did you realise that 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by Social Media?  It’s all about trust, after all.  People are more inclined to follow the advice of their friends and family, people they actually know and respect.  In fact, 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 14% trust advertisements.  So if you can get your message out there on Social Media, people are more include to trust you and buy from you.

 

What about if you’re not on Social Media?  It doesn’t matter, your customers are talking about you anyway!  Over 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user generated content.  34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands and many more people comment via social media channels.  What are your customers saying about you?

 

Social Media is no longer something you can ignore.  It may be an investment of time to learn how to manage it yourself, or to engage an agency to manage your social media presence for you, but it is worth it.   Social Media allows you to:

 

–       Network easily with your clients: it’s the simplest way to gain and maintain not only personal but also business connections;

–       Share information: it’s probably the fastest way to spread news about you and your business to the audience who really matters to you – your  customers;

–       Promote offers to new clients: it’s not only the most cost-effective way of reaching your target demographic, but also a way for you to enhance your reputation in the community by listening to and interacting with your customers.

 

Of course there is always the other side of the coin.  Employees can get addicted to Social Media.  If you publish your content then you will no longer be fully in control of what happens to it.  If you say the wrong thing, you could end up as part of one of those horror stories you read about in the papers, couldn’t you?

 

It all depends how you approach it.  Businesses who succeed on social media do so because they approach it with integrity.  They understand that who they are online is just a reflection of who they are in real life.  So what you do and say on social media should demonstrate who you are as a business.

 

There are still a few businesses who celebrate the fact that they don’t use social media.  In reality, most people just don’t know where to start and are too afraid to ask for help.  Over the next few days and weeks we’re going to take a closer look at unravelling social media.  So come on and join the revolution!

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